|"Francine Frensky, Olympic Rider"|
|Number in season:||5B|
|Original Airdate:|| October 24, 1997|
|Written by:||Kathy Waugh|
|Storyboard by:||Denis Banville|
"Buster Baxter, Cat Saver (episode)"
Francine dreams of being an Olympic equestrian (horse rider), but her dream starts to turn sour when Catherine outshines her at riding lessons.
Francine really wishes to ride her very own horse. She saves enough money by herself for equestrian lessons. She is devastated when her parents say no, despite agreeing to take her if she earned the money. Because the lessons are only available during the time when both Oliver and Laverne are away at work, they suggest Catherine, who is available. Neither sister wants to go with each other but their parents bribe Catherine into going by paying for her lessons.
At first, Catherine hates going to the riding lessons and Francine is the more interested one. It doesn't take long before Catherine becomes more knowing and experienced. She has a small crush on Stanley the instructor, a young boy close to her age. Francine's dreams were much more difficult then she thought, while Catherine is a natural talent. Francine eventually succeeds, but is nowhere near the same level as her sister. Because Catherine has become much more experienced, he offers a job that includes free lessons to Catherine but not Francine. Jealous of her sister's success, Francine rips up a picture of a horse that she previously hung on the wall. She announces at dinner that she is quitting the lessons.
She appears to be happy, but does not want to talk about it. She skips a riding lesson and says that she is going to have fun with her friends. But when she sees her friends: Arthur, Buster, and The Brain they are bored and keep asking each other what to do. D.W. says that if they aren't doing anything then Mom suggested that D.W. plays a Horse game where "Arthur is the horse who dies of thirst". The three boys decide that it is much more fun to do chores, and decide to fold Arthur's socks. Francine agrees to play "Horsey" with D.W. but D.W. then says that it isn't just a simple game of "Horsey". It is a game about horses that run wild and free in the desert. She keeps describing it to Francine, who loves the description but is very sad that she quit the riding lessons. She breaks down and yells at D.W. to stop.
Later, Catherine departs for another lesson. Francine says, "Aren't you going to ask me if I want to come today?" Catherine says "No." and shuts the door. But then she opens the door and says "Hey, Francine: I was just thinking ..." and then they both go but Francine is still stubborn. Stanley and Catherine talk with each other and Stanley says that Francine will never get better unless she gets back on a horse. Catherine decides to give Francine extra lessons so that Francine can catch up. Francine then says. "YOU, teach ME?!?!" but then quickly remembers D.W.'s beautiful description of horses and then Francine quickly changes her mind. Half a second later Francine agrees.
At the end of the day, Francine gives another picture of a horse to Catherine. Catherine says that if she saves her money from babysitting then they can buy a horse to share with each other. She wants to name him Stanley. But Francine hates the name, saying that she would never ride a horse named Stanley in The Olympics. Catherine says "Who says that you can ride in The Olympics?!" They then start a pillow fight with each other. Oliver overhears the sisters having fun and quietly shuts the door.
- Arthur Read
- Buster Baxter
- Alan Powers
- Binky Barnes
- Muffy Crosswire
- D.W. Read
- Oliver Frensky
- Laverne Frensky
- In Buster's imagination of playing Deep Dark Sea on a robot computer that has the ability to get someone's homework done for them, the Deep Dark Sea game is a reference to Arthur the Wrecker where Arthur and Buster were playing the game.
- Francine joking to Catherine that there is a hole in her pants is a reference to this episode's twin: Arthur's Underwear.